Canon Unveils The Full-Frame 6D MK. II, Entry-Level SL2

Canon 6D MK. IIBy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

We’ve been waiting for weeks to know what was under the hood in the second generation of Canon’s 6D camera, and now the full-frame 6D MK. II is finally here, along with the entry-level Canon SL2. But after five years since the 6D line was introduced, is this next gen, low cost full-frame DLSR worth the wait?

“In an industry where choices are abundant, providing consumers with the photographic tools that match their developing skill levels as they continue to embrace their passion for photography is a long-standing goal of Canon and stands at the core of our research and development. The new EOS 6D Mark II and EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR cameras are the result of Canon’s dedication to providing a wide range of camera choices for photographers of all skill levels, whether it’s someone taking their first picture or video with a DSLR camera or those looking to make the jump to a Full-Frame sensor camera.” – Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A

Sticking pretty close to the rumored specs, the Canon 6D MK. II gets a huge update with a 26.2MP full-frame sensor with DIGIC 7 Processor, which sports a retractable touch screen and relies on Canon’s standard dual pixel CMOS AF autofocus. Burst mode maxes out at 6.5 frames per second, the 6D2 has a 45 point cross type autofocus and has a top ISO of 40,000.

Other 6D MK. II specs include:

  1. 26.2 Megapixel Full-frame CMOS Sensor
  2. Optical Viewfinder with a 45-point All Cross-type AF System
  3. Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection & Full HD 60p
  4. DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100-40000
  5. 7560-pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
  6. Vari-angle Touch Screen, 3.0-inch LCD
  7. Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth and GPS technology
  8. High-speed Continuous Shooting at up to 6.5 fps
  9. Dust- & Water-resistant
Canon 6D MK. II

Canon 6D MK. II Image

Video-wise, even though Canon boosted the 6D2’s CMOS sensor by over 30%, it is still stuck in 1080p, and to be realistic, that rather makes sense. If you want to shoot in 4K or Raw, Canon is going to want you to spend more and go to the next level with the 5D MK. IV, where you may be able to take advantage of its C-Log capability.

Canon 6D MK. II Image

And it seems that the 6D is squarely built to attract photographers more than for shooting video. But in full HD, the 6D2 can now boost up to 60 frames per second. There is an HDR Video mode, though, so you get the benefit of better color over the previous model.

Then again, I’m sure that it won’t be long before the gang at Magic Lantern try and see just what their plucky hack can do with the second generation Mark II. They’ve already conquered the Mark 1, giving it up to 14 bit color in wide screen, and almost 2K, so it’s only a matter of time, unless Canon has done something to the new sensor to cause even more delay.

If you’re looking to upgrade, the price of the EOS 6D Mark II $1999 body-only [affiliate link to pre-order], or $2599 with a standard  24-105mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM lens [link to pre-order]. Spend another $500 and you can upgrade that to a 24-105 F4L IS II USM lens [link to pre-order]. Shipping in August.

The SL2

Canon also announced the lighter SL2. While the 6D MK. II has gotten a tad heftier in its next generation, that’s likely to house the new components underneath. Meanwhile, the smaller, lighter SL2 does its best to keep a more nimble footprint.

Designed for a first time shooter, the SL2 comes with a 24.2 APS-C CMOS sensor, dual pixel CMOS AF, upgraded DIGIC 7 image processor, and a user interface called “Feature Assistant,” which gives the new shutterbug the ability to grow beyond the camera’s standard program mode. Through Feature Assistant, shooters can see the differences in live view by adjusting the mode dial and then seeing what it looks like on the 3-inch touch screen LCD. This makes it ideal for seeing the difference in your image before you shoot, when you adjust aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and even exposure compensation.

Other SL2 specs include:

  1. 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
  2. Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  3. 3.0-inch Vari-Angle LCD Touch-Screen
  4. Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Technology
  5. Full HD 60p & External Microphone Input
  6. DIGIC 7 Image Processor, ISO 100-25600
  7. Optical Viewfinder with a 9-point AF System
  8. Feature Assistant
  9. Small and Lightweight Body

If you’re looking to get your budding shutterbug their first rig to shoot photos and video with, at $549 body only [link to pre-order], it’s not a bad option. Or $699.99 with the Canon EF-S 18-55m f/4-5.6 IS STM lens [link to pre-order]. Ships next month.

As stated, it’s a bummer that Canon isn’t seeding the lower-end of their DSLRs with 4K video to keep up with the competition, but at least giving it higher frame rates for slow motion, which shows it can have some range and is not just a “dot upgrade.” Additionally, the price difference for those who want to go higher in resolution is manageable in the upgrade path. So the 6D Mark II is a solid middle of the road camera in the line. But is it enough to lure Mark 1 users to upgrade? That is the question.

For more information visit usa.canon.com.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.